As a coach who follows my own advice, I feel strongly about the year-end wrap-up process. Being a solo entrepreneur makes this even more important. When you don’t have someone else doing your year-end performance review and no longer have a boss imposing goals or deadlines, it can be very helpful to acknowledge what you’ve accomplished. Give yourself a great opportunity to reflect, be grateful and to steer a deliberate course for the year ahead. This review goes way beyond the reports that come off my financial tracking system. As you’ll see, it digs deep into the “why” of my business to help a clearer vision to form for what is next.
Below are 7 key categories I recommend you consider for your review:
Professional and Community Groups You Participated In
• How were you involved?
• How many meetings did you attend?
• What benefits do you personally and professionally receive by being part of the organization?
• Will you plan to continue your activity in the coming year?
Special People in Your Life
• Who was part of your circle of influence this year? Review your calendar, email lists and phone messages for referrals, networking and new client inquiries.
• How about connections on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter?
• Who are you most grateful for?
• If you are a speaker, can you estimate how many audience members heard your message in total?
• Who are your most valuable clients, teachers, mentors and friends?
• Did anyone pass away that you want to remember?
Fun Experiences and Celebrations
• Were there any big celebrations?
• Fun vacations?
• Special nights out?
• Visits from special people
Learning and Growth
• What classes, certifications, teleclasses or workshops were attended?
• Did you earn any new credentials or certifications?
• Which books had the greatest influence on your work or life?
• Which new technologies did you master or at least try?
Pain, Grief and Losses
• Did you suffer any significant changes, losses or set-backs?
• Were there any physical illnesses or injuries that made life rough?
• Are you grieving the loss of a loved one or someone who moved away?
Business and career milestones
• Beyond profit, what can you measure for the year ending?
• How does the year compare with last year, previous history?
• What kind of feedback has come from clients and colleagues about the service you and your business provide?
Serving and Giving
• Where have you volunteered your time and financial support?
• Which charitable organizations have you supported?
• Which boards have you served on?
• How does your business help those who may not be able to afford your services?
Action Steps: Get out a notebook, pen and your calendar from the year just ending. Take time to create a few important categories, and then start tallying up your activities so that you can see the year that just passed from a wider perspective. Take stock of your blessings and feel the good stuff all over again. Use this process to fuel your move forward into the new year. Enjoy!